Monday, January 28, 2013


{chicken - sweet potato - black beans}

Ingredients: makes 4 burritos
4 tortillas (my fave: La Tortilla Factory Smart and Delicious Tortillas)
4 cups slow cooker chicken w/ black beans and sweet potatoes (recipe below)
4-6 cups fresh spinach
4 slices pepper jack cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar or mexican blend cheese (or more to your cheesy liking)
avocado, sliced, for serving
salsa, for serving
greek yogurt or sour cream, for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1. Saute spinach and {chicken, black beans, and sweet potato} mixture in large stovetop skillet over medium heat until spinach is wilted and everything is warmed through.
2. Place 1 cup mixture down the middle of each tortilla along with 1 slice of pepperjack cheese (broken into smaller pieces). Roll up each tortilla and place into glass baking dish side by side.
3. Sprinkle 1 cup shredded cheese evenly overtop (I would use more cheese if my body could handle the dairy) and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes (center rack).
4. Serve with sliced avocado, your favorite salsa, greek yogurt (great sour cream replacement! you won't know what hit you), fresh tomatoes, cilantro, limes, etc.


I went out on a limb with my slow cooker a few months back and the result took Spencer and I both by surprise... and wanting more! I combined ingredients that aren't always seen side by side, but now it's one of our favorite stuffings for burritos, tacos, and enchiladas... or piled onto tostadas, salads, and so much more! This recipe makes a lot so feel free to half everything or indulge in the leftovers. 
Good luck and good eats :)

Slow Cooker Chicken w/ Black Beans and Sweet Potatoes
8 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 large or 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch cubes
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 - 2 cups salsa
3 garlic cloves
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Combine black beans and sweet potatoes in slow cooker, then place the chicken breasts on top. 
2. Combine the rest of the ingredients in medium bowl, then pour mixture over the chicken in crock pot.
3. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
4. Shred chicken with two forks and stir everything together. Enjoy!

Friday, January 25, 2013

lighter sesame chicken

lighter sesame chicken 
{the anti take-out}
4 small servings or 2-3 large servings
4 tablespoons honey

4 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
3 garlic cloves, minced (or grated)
2 large egg whites
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut in 2-inch chunks 
Coarse salt and pepper
Cooking spray
4-6 cups broccoli florets, steamed (for serving)
Brown rice, cooked (for serving)

1. In a medium bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, sesame seeds and garlic to make the sauce.  Set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, stir egg whites and cornstarch with a fork until combined. Add chicken and season with a dash of salt and pepper.
3. Heat a non-stick skillet to medium-high and spray with cooking spray.  Add chicken and cook for 10-12 or until fully cooked and golden brown (Do not overcrowd the chicken when cooking. Depending on your pan size, chicken may need to be cooked in batches).
4. Add chicken to sauce mixture and serve with broccoli florets and brown rice. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

pom pistachio feta salad

{pom pistachio feta} salad
my new favorite salad brought to you by the most beautiful fruit of this season
-pomegranate arils
-pistachios (shelled and coarsely chopped)
-crumbled feta cheese
-fresh spinach or mixed greens
Dressing: balsamic vinegar {i love vinegar} or Brianna's Poppy Seed Dressing

I found the EASIEST way to deseed a pomegranate thanks to Blendtec Blog

cinnamon streusel pancakes

Cinnamon Streusel Pancakes
adapted from: Two Peas and Their Pod

Caution: you may not know whether you are eating breakfast or dessert. I save this recipe for special occasions. 

Your favorite pancake mix or favorite recipe. I'm obsessed with this super easy mix {Kodiak Cakes Frontier Flapjack and Waffle Mix} found at Costco or order online.

Cinnamon Streusel:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks

1. Make pancake batter first 6 pancakes.
2. Make cinnamon streusel second: in a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, and butter. Mix together with hands or a fork until you have a crumble-like mixture.
3. Heat electric griddle to 350 degrees or pan on stove to medium. Drop 1/2 cup pancake batter onto griddle and add 2 tablespoons streusel mixture onto uncooked side of pancake.
3. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then carefully flip when bubbles begin to form. Generously cover cooked side of pancake with streusel and cook for 1-2 more minutes minutes.
4. Continue with the rest of pancakes and serve with maple syrup and butter.

seriously though... beware...

Monday, January 21, 2013

How-To { KEFIR }

Don't get scared and nervous by the idea that kefir is a fermented milk drink made by combining kefir grains with milk. We eat many foods that have been through the fermentation process (yogurt, sauerkraut, miso, and kimchi) so don't run away from the kefir! People dating all the way back to Marco Polo documented making and using kefir.

-natural protein
-live, active cultures and probiotics to improve digestion, remove toxins, boosts immunity, etc.
-the grains thrive on lactose in the milk, which allows the finished product to be 99% lactose free after the kefir eats it all up! (for those of us lactose intolerants)
-lots, lots, lots more!
above: my kefir grains

How To:
1.combine kefir grains (about 2 tablespoons) and milk (about 2 cups)
2.let stand in covered jar (give a little shake every few hours to keep kefir and milk completely combined. this is not neccessary, but helps) at room temperature until the milk thickens and sours (go ahead, smell it! haha).
3.strain the kefir milk from the grains, reserving the grains
4.add the grains to fresh milk and refrigerate kefir milk until you use it!

The kefir grains will use the lactose from the milk to "multiply and replenish" so after a while you can split your grains in half and donate them to another household and keep the cycle going and share the blessing of a healthy happy tummy and body:)

Kefir has a very distinct tangy flavor that I wasn't very sure about at first, but now I am used to it and have found great ways to use it. Here are a few suggested uses:
Fruit smoothies
Green smoothies
Fruit and granola parfaits

Research any questions you have about caring for your kefir and the best way to use it. I got a lot of my beginners information from Real Food, My Way

Sunday, January 20, 2013

lemon crinkles {soft and chewy}

This beautiful cookie is blue ribbon worthy in my personal recipe box. Although, the word chocolate is nowhere to be found (pretty sure my given middle name should have been cocoa), I still applaud this combination of fluffy sugar, tangy lemon, and creamy butter.

Lemon Crinkles {soft and chewy}

1/2 cup butter (softened)
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheats oven to 350 degrees and spray baking sheet with non-stick spray {light colored is better for evenly baked cookies. If using dark sheet, reduce cooking time by 1-2 minutes}
1. Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy in large mixing bowl.
2. Whip in vanilla, egg, lemon zest and juice
3. Add baking powder, baking soda, salt, and gradually add flour until completely combined
4. Pour powdered sugar onto plate or bowl, roll heaping teaspoon sized balls in powdered sugar and place onto cookie sheet about 2  inches apart.
5. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until tops of cookies appear matter and no longer look wet or shiny. You do not want to brown the tops.

Let me remind you that these are not only adorable, but amazing to every taste bud and you won't regret buying a fine grater to zest your lemon, even if this is the only reason you'll ever use it.

Happy Sunday

Friday, January 18, 2013

Eazy Cheezy { P I Z Z A }

Sometimes I create meals in my head and boy are they tasty and pretty while they are in there! But sometimes if I get around to actually making the dream come true, it turns into a tid bit of a kitchen nightmare... This was not one of those times...

Pretty and EAZY Tortilla Pizza
•Tortilla (my fave: La Tortilla Factory Smart and Delicious Tortillas)
•Marinara {or pesto} (my fave: Trader Joe's organic tomato basil marinara)
•Veggies {be creative} (use whatever you've got in the fridge! Pictured: red and yellow peppers, onions, kale)
•Meat {or no meat} (deli turkey or leftover chicken)
•Mozzarella (my fave: fresh! or cheese sticks)
•Toppings: avocado, basil, cilantro, fresh tomatoes, salsa, parmesan, S&P)

Preheat oven to Broil {HIGH}, spread sauce onto tortilla, pile on the veggies (pretty colored ones), meat, cheese, place in oven under broiler until cheese is bubbly and browning {5-6 minutes}. TURN YOUR BACK AND IT WILL BURN!

Tips to enhance the yumminess and prettiness:
1. roast or sauté veggies before
2. Add your favorite seasonings
3. Experiment with the endless combos: tex-mex, margarita, pesto chicken, Thai peanut, etc.)